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tv   [untitled]    August 24, 2010 3:00pm-3:30pm PST

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>> good afternoon and welcome to the meeting of the city and school districts elect committee. i am supervisor dufty, joined by my colleagues, supervisors alioto-pier and daly. we are joined by school board member commissioners. i want to acknowledge our committee clerk, and we also have an assistant from the school district. madam clerk, if we could call item 1. >> thank you, supervisor.
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truancy initiatives by the san francisco unified school district and the city and county of san francisco. supervisor dufty: great, thank you so much. i would like to welcome of the planning and policy manager for violence prevention and intervention, and following that, she will be joined by liz jackson since then from the ymca. welcome. -- liz jackson simpson. >> i want to thank you for the opportunity to present to you the progress of the work. a quick reminder, in february 2010, the mayor announced that they would open a truancy and assessment resourced center. the office or some of its efforts is actually co located with the community assessment and referral center at clark. part of it is instrumental to making sure we support young
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people that are habitually truant, so some of the partners that we are actually gathering here today and are present here in the room are ymca huckleberries program, sfpd, dcyf, and jpd. we are trying to create a one- stop center where we would actually provide youth academic and psychosocial assessments, and it would work closely with the district in order to be able to prevent some of the current attitude of continuously being truant. i wanted to invite someone who has been collaborating -- collaborating with us a lot more and taking initiative on a day-to-day basis. liz jackson is the person that has been one of the instrumental people that has been supporting some of the day-to-day work there at the center. >> thank you. good afternoon, commissioners,
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board of supervisors. i'm the executive director of program development with the ymca in san francisco and branch manager with urban development services ymca. first of all, let me thank you for your continued interest and support of the truancy assessment and referral center. we have been working since january to come up with a comprehensive strategy and plan and have actually begun to launch a pilot that my colleague, the director of the tarc center, will give you more details about. we have worked collaborative with the school district, the police department, the youth program urban services, ymca, juvenile probation, and the d a's office to develop a pilot that was launched late april through the end of the school year, and we targeted this pilot with two communities that
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contributed most to the chronic and habitual truant to population, and that was in bayview and the western addition, so with the baby station and the northern station in particular, and we then went out and did a lot of outreach to all the roll calls for both of the stations and talked with police officers. we have done outreach to the community resource centers, with a number of community-based organizations there in the schools, that a number of the young people participate in. and there are a couple of new members to the select committees, so let me talk a little bit about how this was intended to be operational and. we have discovered, and we have come up with a strategy where the police will go -- if they see young people hanging out the 20 hours of 9:00 and noon on any day monday through friday, they might approach a young person and ask him if they are supposed
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to be in school or why they not in school. if they will identify young people who are middle school or high school age, and they will call into the tarc center. we have school district personnel and urban services ymca persons who will then check into the school system to identify whether or not they should be in school and are a habitual or chronic truant. if there are identified as being habitual or chronic truants, that means they had 10 or more consecutive absences in school, and the police officer will be instructed to bring them in. they'll come into the tarc center, receive an academic assessment from the school district and a psychosocial assessment. mother would be called in, that father, parent would be called in to let them know that they are there, and that are concerned because the have not been regularly attending school, and staff will be helping to develop a plan in tandem with
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the student and family to make sure that this young person is successfully re-entered into school. so that is one way that a young person might come into the center. then, the young person will be supported for the next three to four weeks to insure a smooth transition and green tree and the engagement back into school by our community-based case managers who are trained and have a background in social work, background in social and juvenile justice, and a background in case management. from there, there are other venues and ways like a number of students that came into the tarc center during our pilot days were actually brought in by their parents. that is the best way. we want young people to come into the center. by community members or by their parents themselves who have just been at odds of, "how do i get this kid to go to school? how do i get them reconnected?
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where are the supports in the community?" that is the ideal way we would like the community to utilize the tarc center. with that, i should also add that we have had a successful pilot with the d.a.'s office as well, who runs a truancy court. it initially started off with looking at elementary school- aged families, who were again chronic and habitually truant, but then, we launched in may -- in may, they started a truancy court for the high school students, and we received 15 referrals and are still engaged in working with those young people even through the summer to insure that they are being gauged back in school, connected to us, and be engaged back in school when school starts next month. so i would like to turn the microphone over to my colleague, the director of the tarc center. supervisor dufty: if i could just ask, when school resumes in august, the tarc center itself,
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students will be brought to that center, and it will be open and operational? >> absolutely. supervisor dufty: one moment. commissioner mendoza. commissioner mendoza: thank you. can i just ask a quick question on the truancy corp. for high schools? there were 15 kids that were referred. can you explain that a little bit more for us and what that looks like and where the referrals come from or how the kids are identified? >> i will do my best. katie miller from the district
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attorney's office oversees the truancy courts. there is a court for elementary school-aged families, young people and families, but of course, the older kids, the high school-aged kids, they are going after the young people themselves, and is again our young people who have been a chronic habitually truant, that we have not been able to connect with or catch up with, either through the district or community-based efforts, so with the use of school resource officers, the d.a.'s office are going out and subpoenaing these young people to come into court. they will come into the family court house. then, those young people are connected to the tarc center for academic and wraparound support services. again, there were 15 young people. they just started the court for the high school students, the teenage students, in may. they will continue to operate the court every other month,
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where they will have to go back. there will be progress reports heard, and the kids will be expected to come back every two months. we will be in a charting their progress and insuring that they get reconnected. >> hi, everyone. thank you for having us. i'm the director for the tarc center. just to speak to the truancy court, again, like liz said -- >> and i just figured, since this was a new role, we always like to warm up the room, and tell us about your background coming to this position. it is always a good thing. if that is ok. >> i have been with urban services ymca for a little over
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two and a half years. i have an extensive background in case management services and have worked with children and families through san francisco for 10 + years. a recent graduate of san francisco state university where i earned my master's in social work there with an emphasis in administration and planning, so this work is very dear to me. in my previous capacities, at different organizations, i have done truancy work as well, so coming to the ymca, i came with some truancy background and was able to bring that experience to the table, so i'm glad to be here today. supervisor dufty: we're glad, too, so thank you. >> with regard to the truancy court, we have been there in may and june, and it has been a very interesting experience, but we have been allowed -- we've been glad to be there to work with the district attorney's office. we have tried to actively engage this young people are in accord,
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connect with the families, connect with the young people and set up times to meet with those young people. what we found is that many of those young people have been disengaged from the academic environment for quite some time, so our work has been over the school years to further identify what those barriers to attendance and getting better grades and engaging the school -- we have tried to really find out what those barriers are and work with those young people. that is what our work has been looking like as well as connecting young people and their families with support services, specific to where they need those services, the types of needs we have had the we have been able to identify and the things they have expressed. but again, the district attorney's office has referred 15 young people, and we are actively working with them, as well as the school district has made referrals. during our pilot time, we also
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had a number of calls from parents who called hearing about the tarc center and had students that were true and that they wanted support for, so we have also worked with those families to get them connected over the summer and to really work specifically on a transition plan for the upcoming school year. what we're hoping is before the upcoming school year to provide all our young civil with backpacks, school supplies, which will be partnered with the containers work that is happening right now, and we are working on getting some alarm clocks and some other tools that will be good for them to have to help them with getting back into school. i do also want to make mentioned, with regards to the process which the is mentioned earlier as far as the kids coming into our center and getting assets or what have you, one of the primary focus is on our program is that we hold the hands of our young people. i know sometimes a lot of people speak against that, but kids
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that are chronically truant oftentimes need someone to connect with them and to hold their hand, so one of our primary emphasis will be providing next day follow-up with our young people, so you come into our center today, we have a case manager that will connect with you the next day at home, in school, in your community to check with you to see how your day is going, to continue that kind of handholding for a couple of weeks to help get them established in school and settled and kind of help with that transition. from that point, we will reassess to determine if the status on track and good to go. great, we can kind of close them out on our in. if they still need support, we will be able to refer them for long-term case management services within our truancy program that we currently have, or to an outside organization, but again, we believe in connecting our young people with people and not with program, so we are going to be looking to build stronger relationships with cbo's and that are here in
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san francisco, and we already have some existing relationships. >> thank you, very much. i think i am making my comment for everyone else following at the microphone. this is such a serious issue throughout our city and our school district. i would request that you be as honest and as candid with us as you can be in any presentation today. there is no need to -- yes, there is a professionalism that i definitely appreciate, but i really want to hear details. if you're saying that you are going to offer services and connect them with people, i would like to hear some of the details of that so i could better understand if somebody comes to tarc and somehow through your assessment process, you figure it is just an alarm clock -- how did you come to
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figure that was all that they needed? just then alarm clock? or actually, there is a much deeper causation for why they are truant or why apparent refers their child -- or why a tariff refers to a child? we have our own understanding, but now you are in existence for another reason, because we were not able to solve it on our side of the block, and i'm grateful you are at the table to help us with this, but i appreciate the candidates you can bring to the conversation today. >> i will add that we will have our assessments that would have internally that we will use, and with the partnership with the school district, we will be able to tap into what those issues are, but i will say that -- and we have had that question come off in the past when we talk to different folks -- we did a great deal of investigation. we will ask those kinds of general questions, but we do
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deep very deep in our conversations and our meetings with those young people. sometimes, those young people are very honest with us, and it can be something as simple as an alarm clock, or it could be something deeper like having insomnia because they have nightmares at night and they cannot sleep. those are some of the issues that have come up, so we do a lot of assessment or investigations in working with our young people. fortunately, our staff has the background that we do have, but we also have our personal experience, so we are often able to identify with those young people and be able to ask the right questions to get more deeper information, and that is the work that we will be continuing to do. sometimes -- again, there are a lot of issues that come up, and we have had issues that come up on safety. bullying in school. we have had issues about insomnia, nightmares. we have had kids who have been
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victims of violence in their past. the issue is deeper a lot of times than just an alarm clock, and our work is to really dig deep into that, and we understand that we cannot do this work alone, and that is why we rely heavily on the resources that are out in the community, because there are issues that maybe a little beyond our scope where we have to connect with other organizations to do that work. >> thank you very much, and if i may follow on something you said about working with existing resources. i believe that some of our collective issue is that the existing resources were not able to figure out, you know, how to fit the pieces to this puzzle together, and we are part of the existing resources. how will you be able to reinvigorate or how's this -- have those existing resources take a fresh look at what they're doing? maybe you need someone else to take a look at that, but if they
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had a program and have been doing this work and have not been able to help solve the issue, and you are new to the table, how will you be able to have those partners reassess what they are doing? >> i will let liz speak to that. >> i would like to say that the beauty of this collaboration is that we have a lot of decision makers and people in the right places to help us figure out how to better navigate the system because navigating school system is not an easy task. navigating mental health is not an easy task, so you need folks that are savvy and understand the intricacies of these organizations. i think we have that available to us around the tarc table. i would like to give an example of one of the referrals and how we have to connect the dots. 1/3 of the referrals that come in the family resource centers
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from their differential response caseload -- these are individuals who have had sepias calls made against them for various reasons -- had cps calls made against them, said at the family research center, they would call in to get support. one case in point is a young woman who was 13, 14 years old that attended washington high school and was not going to school because -- for safety reasons. when our case managers were able to delve deeper, there was some speculation about her prostituting herself and not feeling safe going to school, amongst her peers and simply have not gone. so it takes a real savvy case manager mental health professional, school district staff, community workers to figure out a strategy and a plan and how to resourced and
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support that family and that young person to get her comfortable and be engaged in school. is it a different placement of school? perhaps. does she have other academic needs and support? is she falling behind? how do we help her catch up? how do we get some mental health counseling for her to overcome some of the social problems she has been exposed to or experienced with? to get this young person back on a track of normalcy? if there is such a thing. that is the kind of -- and she asked for one type situation, and i know it is very graphic, but our young people are facing a number of social problems. but understand, is how to navigate cps, how to get them off your back if you are a family member, yet get the support that you need. how to find another placement for your young person if that is indeed what she needs. how to get her surrounded with
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hears that will not make her feel unsafe at school. these are some of the intricacies we're having to deal with and support young people in. it is proving that it works. before, we were only able to do it on a small scale. now we have 4500 young people we hope we will be able to attract and support. with varying degrees, of course, but i just want to say kind of a deeper example of how we need to connect mental health, cps, school district, police, community. it is very complicated. again, we did not mean to make it seem as if it was a really simple situation, but if they are chronic or habitual truant, the situations are multi-pronged and very complicated. thank you. commissioner kim: i walked in a little bit late, so i hope -- i do not know if this was already
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asked. when does tarc start? and what is the expected capacity in terms of number of students that you can serve? >> tarc has already started, but i will have list speak about the details -- i will have liz speak about the details. the facility is open and has been opened. that is why they are presenting on some of the day-to-day work that is being done currently. the only difference is that we have not had the increase of referrals that we had in september, given the school will not be starting until august. but there is individuals that have been referred from the other partners tarc back has been working with individuals -- that tarc has been working with individually. commissioner kim: when did you open? >> may 3. commissioner kim: when did you start serving students? >> [inaudible] that day, at a clock 40 a.m.
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, and i would like to ask officer perillo to come up to talk about some of the rollout from the police department as well -- 8:40 a.m. we wanted to start something, so again, we started that day. actually, that day, at 8:45, a parent brought her son in kicking and screaming. police referral. parent came in with her son. "i cannot make him go to school." which is the better way. we would like to see parents and community utilizing the service as well. but it is supposed to be reciprocated, that the whole community sees this as a resource, but we launched in two communities with the baby station and northern station western addition community because that is where a significant number of referrals for truancy come from as we were
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launching this pilot, but then officer perillo -- commissioner kim: before you go, i was confused. i thought it was at the goth street site. >> we only had a few more weeks of school before the service was launched, so we just started a program with those communities, but officer perillo will talk about how we involve the entire force. commissioner kim: before you go, how many students have you served, and what is the expected capacity during the school year? >> for that month, we solved 30 students that came from a variety of sources -- community, parents, d.a., truancy court, schools, so they came from a variety of sources, so we anticipate potentially serving -- i mean, it is a pilot, so even during the pilot, we saw 30
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students, so we will probably see twice as many per month. commissioner kim: is that your capacity? you can serve 60 cents a month? >> i think 200 for the whole year. commissioner kim: currently, you could serve 240 school year? >> afternoon, commissioners and supervisors. some of us have been in this for a while, and is great to have a percolating to the surface. from our end, there is a department bulletin that will instruct the officers around the procedures and piggyback off an existing one that had the whole trouble services involved in their, but instead, we put tarc in there, and we are encouraging officers to engage with our youth in a positive way, and intervention way, and a way to recognize that day as the officers are part of the
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community. basically, they connect with the youth and then make the call to tarc, as you probably heard procedurally, and then with the go ahead, take them to tarc for the intake, the assessment. supervisor dufty: thank you. could i also invite of the chief of juvenile probation? i appreciate that he came to offer his support. >> one more person that we would like to share. is that ok? >> we have claudia anderson represented of the unified school district, and she is going to share a little bit about some of the overlapping existing resources that are really tied in tarc. >> i'm claudia anderson, and i am sort of a new face to this. in the new director of executive support services, but i'm not new to this population of
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students. supervisor dufty: as we asked before, why don't you tell us a little bit about your background? >> it is really exciting to be here with liz and christine and low is because i have known them for years with the work we have done together. my background -- i have been in the school district for a little over 20 years, and all of that time is spent in alternative education, so i have always worked -- i can do in the county programs or in the continuation schools with students who for a variety of reasons have been marginalized, and it has always been a frustration to me because in settings that i work in, it is about relationships. it is about really digging deep and understanding that there are youth, even though we do not like to think about, there are youth who have experience complex multiple trauma in their lives, and it is not as simple as they do not want to go to

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